We have all been there before – waking up in the mornings and being greeted with the sight of a massive zit that has sprouted on our face. We lament about our ‘misfortune’, attributing it to hormonal changes and eating too many doughnuts. In a bid to hide that unsightly pimple, we hastily dab some concealer on it, ever determined to ignore its existence.

Sadly, the pimple refuses to stay out of the spotlight. It becomes larger and more swollen. To our dismay, it sometimes even multiplies, resulting in tiny, red zits around the surrounding area. After some time, raised and inflamed cystic acne bumps take their place, leading to a full-fledged breakout. Resolute that our faces will look much better without these tiresome zits, we spare them no mercy. Our fingers often stray towards our faces, picking at those pesky pimples to squeeze the life out of them.

Yet, it seems like our jobs are never done. Every time we pop or pick at a pimple, we have to deal with the aftermath of ugly scabs, dark spots and acne scars. To make matters worse, germs and dirt from our fingers get transferred onto our faces, thus increasing the risk of infection and pus forming. Irked by the yellowish, pus-filled pimples, we attempt to extract the pus matter by pinching them, thus resulting in a never-ending vicious cycle of pimple-picking.

Contrary to perception, pimple-picking and popping isn’t just a bad habit that we indulge in during our adolescent years. In fact, many of us are guilty of doing it now, even when we are aware of the long-lasting damage that it wreaks on our skin. So, why do we do it? There are various reasons behind our pimple-picking urges that will be further explained below. But one thing is for sure – picking at our pimples is a terrible habit that we need to break.

Sounds easier said than done? Thankfully, we have compiled a list of tips to help you kick your pimple-picking habit to the curb. So, if you are a serial pimple-picker, read on for 5 ways to stop picking at your pimples.


How To Quit Pimple-Picking Cold Turkey Style

As mentioned earlier, there are various motivations behind the act of pimple-picking. Asides from wanting our faces to look good, it is usually correlated with stress, uneasiness and anxiety. When confronted with different stressors in our life, many people try to escape from it by engaging in other activities that are within their realm of control. They devote their full attention to ensuring that these activities work out and their desired goals are achieved. And this includes maintaining their overall appearance.

Viewing pimples as an obstacle to achieving a perfect complexion, they are usually filled with an overwhelming urge to get rid of them, hence the constant picking. Upon successfully bursting their zits, they feel momentarily relieved, only to commence again when new pimples sprout on their face. Other than that, some people also pick at their pimples due to lack of interest in whatever they are doing or as a means to occupy their time. As such, they tend to get carried away with pimple-picking, thus increasing the probability of developing acne scars and dark spots. Taking the form of narrow, pitted scars or large crater-like acne scars, these scars can be a huge blow to one’s self-esteem and cause uneven skin texture. Subsequently, it might become emotionally difficult for some individuals to deal with the prominent acne scarring, causing them to become more anxious than before. This uneasiness then spurs them to pick at their pimples even more frequently.

Therefore, it is essential that you identify the triggers behind your pimple-picking impulses. Seek the help of a family member or friend to monitor your pimple-picking habit so that you can have a better idea of the plausible causes. In the meantime, here are some tips to help you stop picking at your pimples:

Trim Your Nails Regularly

It might seem simple but cutting your nails frequently to keep them short and neat will aid in reducing the amount of damage caused to your skin during pimple-picking. Not to mention that it will be much more difficult for you to scratch at your zits with blunt nails.

Get Your Hands Moving

What better way to deter yourself from subconsciously picking at your face by pre-occupying yourself with various handicraft related tasks? Whether it is knitting or scrapbooking, these activities will help to divert attention from your pimple-picking urges and keep your hands away from your face. Not a fan of handicraft? You can consider partaking in other activities such as cooking or playing basketball.

Consider Seeing A Therapist Or Psychologist

If your pimple-picking habit has a significant impact on your self-confidence levels and constantly makes you feel upset and distressed, you may want to consider visiting a therapist or psychologist. He or she will be able to aid in reframing your perspective towards the acne scarring situation and work with you on addressing the pimple-picking issue.

Stick Acne Patches On Your Blemishes

Place a ‘barrier’ between your fingers and blemishes by sticking acne patches on them. With the acne patches in the way, it will be harder for you to scratch your zits. Plus, they can help to facilitate the acne healing process by absorbing any pus that is emitted.

Consistently Use Your Anti-Acne Treatments

As the saying goes, ‘prevention is better than cure’. To reduce the probability of an acne outbreak that leads to excessive pimple-picking and acne scarring, make sure to always incorporate anti-acne treatments into your skincare regimen.